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Summer Language Programs Abroad

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Summer Camps & School Breaks > Summer Language Programs Abroad


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Spanish language summer or ''gap year'' program

Feb 2013

Hello, can anyone recommend a Spanish language program for a high school junior considering a Gap Year between HS and college. She is interested in cooking, travel, service, or ecology oriented trips, and of corse in hopefully becoming bilingual. Any programs your kid has joined & enjoyed? What are the details? (Cost, location, living situation, etc.). Or, any programs you would recommend against, based on your experience? Secondly, a summer program with the above characteristics is a possibility as well. Thanks so much. Wants to improve Spanish abroad


My daughter spent a semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a program called Mente Argentina. She was a little too young for the group( only 16 and in her junior year) to enjoy all the activities but still had a great time. We were looking for a city rather that suburbs or small town. There were lots of young people going to the University, leaving with families or on their own. Check their website and contact me with any questions. We love Buenos Aires, it is fun, safe, easy to navigate and not too expensive. Also the way they speak spanish is very beautiful and sophisticated, slow and easier to learn that other places. Just remember that the seasons are the opposite from the US., so a summer there would be really winter! The idea of a GAP year is wonderful. Most kids here although they really want to study, go to college and party, using alcohol and drugs is such an extreme way. I like the Argentinian society, the kids start drinking wine early on, they party but it is in a much more positive way, they use public transportation, so not too much drink/driving worries. Although being away half of the semester in junior year affected my daughter grades, we all think she would have done it again! MG

Summer programs in China for high schooler

March 2012

My daughter has been taking Mandarin at Berkeley High but would like to take it to the next level with a summer program, internship, or volunteer activity in China that demands speaking the language. She has just finished level 5/6 with an A so is conversational but not fluent. Can anyone suggest an interesting option?? Berkeley mom


You may want to look into LPI Abroad's program in China. My son went to Costa Rica for a month last summer with them. The program, staff and families were amazing. My son loved it and learned a huge amount. I would think their China program is just as wonderful. Linda

Summer abroad for Spanish immersion for 16-year-old

Nov 2010

My son will be 16 on June 23, 2011. He would like to take a Spanish immersion program. He has had 2 years of high school Spanish. He was taking Spanish 3 this year but struggled so much that he dropped it. Is there a program that you recommend? He was thinking of Costa Rica, but is open to most any location. Are there any that will give him college credit? He could attend 3-5 weeks. Of course he would like some fun adventure excursions as well! Thanks. linda


I recommend Kukulcan, a wonderful Spanish school in Cuernavaca, Mexico. I spent a week there over New Year's 2 years ago, and also a month there last summer with my 16 year old daughter. Most of the students there are getting college credit. The two times I was there, we met many students from Texas, California, and Iowa, plus a whole group from France. During the summer I was happy to also have classmates who were closer to my age, such as a group of nutritionists doing a special culture/language course, and a group of ESL teachers. In the winter there was a group of pre-pharmacy students who came together from the same university. But there are also lots of ''Independent'' students like us, who don't come in a group but quickly make friends with their classmates. The students were friendly and the staff are all incredibly helpful. By the way, my daughter and I also decided to volunteer at an orphanage where one of the school's staff members regularly volunteers. That was a deeply enriching addition to our school experience. www.kukulcan.com.mx Kathryn

Spending a month in Paris to learn French

Feb 2009

My 9 year old daughter has been learning French for about 6 months and has made remarkable progress. I know the window to learn a language is rapidly coming to a close. Therefore I am thinking of spending a month in central Paris. I have found numerous schools for adults I have not found any for kids.The only kids summer school program i found in paris is somewhere in the suburbs and I really dont want to commute :) I would like my kid to learn french in a natural, fun way and enjoy her month in Paris. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you. chris


Are you planning to go in the summer? France offers these reasonably-priced summer day camps in virtually every community. The staff are government-certified so there is a pretty uniform standard of care. Since the camps are for French children, they are conducted in French. The camps are fun and offer a wealth of activities, which vary according to where you are. When we took our (then 8 year old) daughter to France for a few weeks, we researched before we left and located the camp nearest where we were staying. The camp activities were fun (we were on Lac Leman and the kids went to the ''beach'' most days), our daughter needed to function in French, and the other kids were amazed that she could speak English, which helped overcome the difficulty of being the new kid. We took her to camp in the morning, then did some adult-themed and -paced sightseeing before picking her up in the late afternoons. You can usually get info about these camps at the Hotel de Ville (City Hall) of the area in which you are staying. English-speaking Mama to bilingual Sophie
We went to Paris last summer and rented an apartment in Arond. 4, which was a great neighborhoody experience. However, we were just doing the tourist thing and having my son practice his French. Have you heard of Concordia Language Villages? It's very highly regarded language immersion summer camp program in Minnesota. They have several French ''Villages'', and my son attended for 2 weeks last summer (at age 9) and LOVED it. There is also ''family week'', if you're not comfortable sending her alone. We booked my son on a direct flight from SFO last year, and there were 2 other kids on his flight flying solo to the camp. If you want to know more, feel free to e-mail me: c_shepler@hotmail.com. We're still working on our summer schedule and aren't sure if he'll be going back this year, though he'd very much like to.
I have a friend from Berkeley who has her children in a Montessori near Jardin des Plantes this year.
I do not know of a specific program for 9 yr olds in Paris for a month, but you could check out on line, or call these folks and see if they know of one, even if it is runby someone else:
- Alliance Francaise (these are centers all over the world that teach French and are gathering places for those interested in French culture. There is one in Berkeley (Alliance Francaise de Berkeley), but they probably do not know of a specific program in Paris.(http://www.alliancefr.org/)
- The American Consulate in Paris
- The American Church community in Paris - a cultural node for Americn ex pats (http://www.acparis.org/)
- Fodors talk board online at Fodors.com
- Rick Steeves talk board online.
- City of Paris official website (http://www.paris.fr/portail/english/
- day camp classes given by the museums. Hope you have a wonderful time. Wish I were going, too!
Bonjour! I saw your ad and looked a little on the web to see if I could find anything to help you...I used to live in Paris! I did find a camp that has a segment of it for international students (les enfant Htrangers = foreign children).It is called Energy Academy and it seems like they offer a lot-- varied sports etc. In my time in Paris, I found that visiting the museums and reading the signs and bulletins all around offered an enormous amount of improvement for my vocabulary. I carried a little dictionary with me for the first six months and found that exceedingly helpful and let me learn many more words that if I just tried to figure out the ones that were absolutely needed. I also studied in schools there and worked with French people--yet just being there might be enough for your child, as it is a busier pace than California- in my humble opinion. http://www.energyacademy.fr/summercamp-paris-enfant.html You might try the Mairie de Paris/ mayor of Paris website- it is Paris.fr They have lots of information. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help or if I can answer any of your questions. Joanna
I came across this and it sounds just like what you are looking for: From: 6 July 2009 To: 7 August 2009 At: International School of Paris, 6 rue Beethoven, 75016, Paris - Metro: Passy International School of Paris - Holiday Language Program

International School of Paris Holiday Language Program

Your children aged 3 to 18 will receive the best education ever in French or English when they attend the various and stimulating programs HLP proposes this year. They will be received by a team of experienced and dedicated teachers and coaches, in the dream facilities that ISP offers to its students, right at the heart of Paris.

You can choose a classic session of linguistic immersion composed of language classes in the morning supported by a diversity of cultural, artistic and sportive activities in the afternoon. Or you can challenge yourself and choose our very new project based programs. Teenagers can choose to work on a lstar academyn show, youngsters can work on a theatre play, even adults this year have the option to join us in a cooking program in a foreign language! All language classes will be related to the project. There is no better way to learn a language than to use it purposively! Whatever your favourite options are, they are available over 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 weeks, from July the 06th to August the 07th 2009.

Early birds get a 10% discount if they enrol before March the 30th 2009. For further details, please contact Carole Piccin, HLP Director at HLP@isparis.edu 06 70 81 56 00 ISP website: http://www.isparis.edu/ Also, I am putting together a group of people to take a French for Travelers class this spring, beginning level, for the whole family.


Summer Chinese Language Study in China

Feb 2009

Our ninth grade twin boys have started Mandarin this year and we would like to send them to camp in China this summer for 2-3 weeks. We know of Sino Language Gateway (from a BPN post), Mandarin House and Hebei Overseas Chinese School. Has anyone had personal experience with any of these? Does anyone recommend another program or have general advice about how to pick a program (e.g. more structured time vs. less structured time, international vs. American student body, etc.)? Karen


Our Chinese Daughters Foundation http://www.ocdf.org/academicconnections/ was started for (and by) China adoptive families. We went on one of their tours. OCDF is terrific. Ask about their language programs. You can write to their director: Jane Liedtke Jane@ocdf.org, Tell her Peggy from Berkeley sent you.

Spanish summer program abroad for 15-year-old

Feb 2006

I have a 15 yo son who is interested in a summer program abroad ( preferably Spain or Costa Rica). He has 3 yrs of high school spanish. I was wondering if anyone has any recomendations. He has never spent an extended time away from home so this would be his first experience. I am particularly interested in what homestays were like and also what the adult supervision was like. I know many of these programs are quite expensive - does anyone know if financial aid is available. Thanks


My daughter went to Spain with ECI-Edu-Culture International and she had a terrific time...see their website at www.educulture.org. It was 4 weeks in Spain with 3 weeks of Spanish language study in Granada (mornings) with activities and additional travel/stay options. Linda
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